We rely everyday on the safety of our vehicles, assuming that with proper care and maintenance, they will safely guide us to our destination. What some consumers are unaware of, however, is the vast number of defective vehicles. Vehicle defects, whether by design or manufacturer, are increasingly common, taking the lives of thousands each year. In 2011 alone, over 15 million vehicles were recalled nationwide. Thus far, 2013 is on track to be a record setting year for automobile recalls.
Toyota kicked off the year by recalling over 1 million vehicles. The recall included Corolla and Lexus vehicles, and was attributed to airbag defects and malfunctioning windshield wipers. More recently, Toyota issued a worldwide recall on 33,000 cars, pickup trucks, and commercial vehicles. The recall called for the replacement of a defective part that may cause engine failure. Many of the recalled models are in Japan, but several U.S. pickup trucks are affected. The source of the defect is an engine valve spring susceptible to cracking and breaking over time. Additionally, another 600,000 Toyota Sienna minivans were recalled due to a defect in the shift lever, which makes it possible for the vehicle to be put in driver without depressing the brakes. Twenty-one minor accidents were attributed to the defect.
Nissan recently recalled over 100,000 Infinite M sedans from 2006-2010. This call back is due to a defect in the car that creates the potential for it to lose power. Unstable sensors can cause the vehicle to stop while idling or even when driving. Nissan claims no injuries were associated with the defect, but has received multiple complaints.
Over six million vehicles have been recalled this year alone for airbag defects. Toyota was once again involved in the automobile call back, announcing that over 880,000 of its vehicles had electrical problems that could prevent airbags from deploying in a crash. Honda recalled over 300,000 vehicles for airbag defects that caused the safety devices to inflate with too much pressure in a crash, sending flying metal and plastic pieces which can cause death or injury to the driver or passenger.
This alarming look at the sheer volume of automobile call backs should give consumers pause before putting total faith in the safety of their vehicle. Car manufacturers have a duty to warn consumers of potential defects, but they do not always do so in a timely manner. When manufacturers wait to announce recalls, serious injury and death result. In 2010, industry giant Toyota was fined $16 million by the U.S. government after investigations revealed the company was aware of a sticking gas pedal for months before issuing a recall.
Defects in automobiles have been linked dozens of wrongful death cases and thousands of personal injury actions. Some of the most common defective parts in automobiles include: tires; brakes; sensors and valves; airbags; safety belts; sticking gas pedals; and ignition interlocks.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident involving a defective automobile, it is imperative you consult with a licensed Texas automobile accident attorney as soon as possible. You may have the right to recover for your losses in a personal injury or wrongful death action.
Tate Law Offices, P.C., has represented the victims of automobile accidents, including those involving defective vehicles, for over two decades. We are a team of car accident professionals, with the skill, knowledge, and passion to fight diligently for your full recovery. Call us today at 888-662-3892 to schedule a free consultation.